Darko Trifunović


Darko Trifunović

Darko Trifunović ( _sr. Дарко Трифуновић) is a lawyer and professor at the Faculty of Security Studies of the University of Belgrade."Bosnian Muslims object to Serb terrorism expert addressing European conference". Report from TV Hayat, Sarajevo, 1800 GMT, 5 January 2008. Via BBC Monitoring.] He formerly worked as a diplomat for the foreign ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After leaving the diplomatic service in controversial circumstances, he authored a widely criticised report for the Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb) government which denied that there had been a massacre at Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. He moved on to his current position at the University of Belgrade, where he has specialised in the study of Islamic terrorism. His views on the subject have been criticised by many Bosniak organisations.

Career

Citizenship controversy

In the late 1990s, Trifunović worked as a member of the Republika Srpska legal expert commission, where he spoke out strongly against the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's indictment of senior Bosnian Serb military and civil officials. ["Bosnian Serb legal expert says Hague tribunal using medieval methods". SRNA news agency, 3 August 1998. Via BBC Monitoring.] When he was appointed to serve as the First Secretary of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mission to the United Nations, he became the focus of public controversy after the Bosnian press accused him of having "represented Bosnia in New York in a scandalous way, and did everything possible to promote Belgrade's interests.""Bosnian Diplomat's Citizenship Revoked". HINA, Croatia, 12 March 2002. Via BBC Monitoring.]

He was suspended from duty at the UN in March 2002 after the Bosnian Foreign Ministry announced that it had discovered that he had obtained Bosnian citizenship illegally. A check of the citizenship of all state administration officials, undertaken as a counter-terrorist action following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, found that Trifunović was legally a citizen of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. According to the Bosnian government, he had been born in Belgrade, where he requested a change of residence in 1996 before submitting a request for a residence permit in the Bosnian border town of Brčko. The authorities of the Republika Srpska had then issued him with Bosnian documents. He was stripped of his Bosnian citizenship by the government of the Brčko District, but this was overturned in April 2002 by the Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry for Civilian Affairs and Communications. He was nonetheless recalled to Bosnia-Herzegovina. ["Bosnian Foreign Ministry partially revokes suspension of official". SRNA news agency, 10 June 2002. Via BBC Monitoring.]

Trifunović asserted that he had been illegally stripped of his Bosnia-Herzegovina citizenship and was illegally dismissed from his job. ["Bosnian UN mission diplomat accuses Foreign Ministry of human rights violations". SRNA news agency, 13 June 2002. Via BBC Monitoring.] He accused the Bosnian government of dismissing him because he had found connections between another diplomat at the mission and two Islamic charities that had been closed down for allegedly having links with Al Qaeda. ["Bosnian diplomat says he was fired for revealing colleague's Al-Qaeda ties". SRNA news agency, 7 August 2002. Via BBC Monitoring.]

rebrenica massacre report controversy

In September 2002, the Bosnian Serb government's Bureau for Relations with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia issued a report denying the Srebrenica massacre of August 1995. The report, authored by Trifunović, asserted that the massacre had never happened, that only about 1,800 Bosnian Muslims had died at Srebrenica (in combat rather than in a massacre) instead of the 7,000-8,000 reported by international investigators and that only about 100 had been killed in summary executions. [" [http://www.apisgroup.org/tragichero/ Ratko Mladic : Tragic Hero] ", Apis Group, 2006] The report was condemned by the international community and human rights institutions. [" [http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,349957,00.html Imaginary Massacres] ?" TIME magazine, 11 September 2002] The ICTY had ruled a year earlier that nearly 8,000 Muslims had been murdered in an act of genocide and convicted General Radislav Krstić for his involvement in the crime. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1470928.stm General guilty of Bosnia genocide] ". BBC News Online, 2 August 2001.] Two years after Trifunović's report was issued, the Bosnian Serb government finally admitted the scale of the killings. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3743176.stm Serbs admit Srebrenica death toll] ". BBC News Online, 14 October 2004]

Views on Islamic terrorism

After leaving the Bosnian foreign ministry, Trifunović subsequently moved on to the Faculty of Security Studies of the University of Belgrade, where he continues to work in the field of Islamic terrorism. Trifunović's views on Islamic terrorism have been the focus of significant public controversy; he has repeatedly asserted that Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia are being infiltrated by Wahhabist extremists. He has published a number of works on this general theme, arguing that Bosnia-Herzegovina is the nexus for an international network of Islamic terrorists who are directly linked to Al Qaeda. Titles include "Islamic Fundamentalists, Global Network and Modus Operandi: Model Bosnia", "The Roots of Terrorism in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its Classic Forms" and "Terrorism and Organized Crime in Southeast Europe: the Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina". He asserts that seven of the nineteen hijackers in the 9/11 attacks had Bosnian connections.

In 2003, he visited the US capital Washington, D.C. where he briefed members of the US Congress that "a group of about 300 young Kosovo Albanians [supporting] the concept of a Greater Muslim state, was trained in northern Albania and then transferred to Kosovo with their trainers, mujahidin fighters from Middle Eastern and North African countries." ["Bosnian Al-Qaeda members plan attacks on NATO - terrorism expert". SRNA news agency, 17 October 2003. Via BBC Monitoring.] Following the March unrest in Kosovo, he asserted that the anti-Serb violence was "just the latest in a string of operations undertaken by Al Qaeda in the past few weeks" and that terrorist brigades and weapons were "pouring in" to the Sandžak region of Serbia and Montenegro. ["Attacks in Kosovo are work of Al Qaeda". "Glas javnosti", Belgrade, 19 March 2004. Via BBC Monitoring.]

Trifunović has also advocated taking a hard line on Kosovo's declaration of independence. In December 2007, he told the Belgrade daily newspaper "Glas javnosti" that "the very moment Pristina declares independence, Ruecker does not invalidate that decision, and the first state recognizes Kosovo, Belgrade must order tanks to go to Kosovo, the province to be shelled and returned under the sovereignty of Serbia, where it belongs under Resolution 1244." He asserted that it was an open question as to whether Western countries had also secretly promised independence to the Uyghur people of China, the Kurds of Iran and various other peoples in Central Asia. ["Time Has Come For Us To Show Our Teeth". "Glas javnosti", Belgrade, 11 December 2007. Via BBC Monitoring.]

A major controversy broke out in early January 2008 when it was announced that Trifunović had been invited to be a key speaker at the European Police Congress, to be held in Berlin at the end of the month. The news attracted fierce criticism from members of the Bosnjaci.net portal, the Congress of Bosniaks in North America and the Sarajevo-based Centre for Advanced Studies. The invitation was protested by Tarik Sadović, the Bosnia-Herzegovina security minister and deputy chair of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Trifunović was dropped from the list of invitees after Sadović sent a letter of complaint, in which he declared that he would not attend the conference if Trifunović attended, accused Trifunović of "belong [ing] to a gathering of propagandists" and denounced him as "a man who presented a great deal of falsified facts, prejudices, and ideological stereotypes about Muslims and Islam." ["Europe Finds Interesting Trifunovic's Story about Islamic Terrorism". "Oslobodjenje", Sarajevo. 16 January 2008. Via BBC Monitoring.] The Society for Threatened Peoples followed up in February 2008 with an open letter to European, US, Serbian and Bosnian ministers, governments and police services, in which they criticised Trifunović as "a self-proclaimed 'expert on Islamist terrorism'" and urged an end to "all contact and co-operation with Dr Trifunović with immediate effect." [" [http://www.gfbv.de/pressemit.php?id=1173 Dr Darko Trifunovic – Serb Nationalist, Supporter of Greater Serbia and Genocide Denier] ". Society for Threatened Peoples, 19 February 2008.] Trifunović cancelled his planned trip to Germany, asserting that he had received death threats from Muslim extremists. [" [http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=1.0.1793823194 Serbia: Terrorism expert receives death threat] ". Adnkronos International, 21 January 2008]

References

See also

*Islamic terrorism
*Counterterrorism


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